March to Hazelwood coal power station and erection of solar power tower

by takver — July 30, 2012

As part of the 10/10/10 global climate work party organised by 350.org - one of more than 8000 events around the world, people from Victoria gathered outside the Hazelwood brown coal fired power station, one of the dirtiest, most polluting power stations in the industrial world. After listening to a couple of brief speeches, the crowd of about 300 people marched to the power station car park where a solar power tower with 170 heliostats was erected to show the alternative energy sources available to replace Hazelwood.

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Duration 01:30
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Producer Takver
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Year produced 2010
Frred
Frred says:
June 03, 2012

Thanks BilB. I'm sure that some configuration along these lines would silfgnicantiy reduce Australia's carbon footprint. It is about time it was implemented, as the technology is already available. Rudd could then really claim to have achieved a measurable difference, not just symbolism.The old coal-fired power stations have a thermal efficiency of about 40% I believe, and CCGT has efficiencies up to 75%, to say nothing of reduced particulates and reduced NOx and SOx from burning natural gas. This would give a MASSIVE reduction in emissions already. Then if say, conservatively 6 hours/day was met by solar (& perhaps wind), rather than carbon-based energy, you would have a further significant reduction of total emissions.I can imagine a range of reasons the Rudd government is handing $billions of our tax money to the coal companies, rather than walking his talk about the environment.The first and most obvious is that almost all pollies are technologically-challenged. They could easily have the wool pulled over their eyes with bull about clean coal and geosequestration/CCT.Another related reason is that big money and multinationals are behind coal and nuclear. These types of power-stations are essentially large monopoly systems. By contrast, gas turbines and solar arrays are modularisable, decentralisable, and less amenable to milking for monopoly rents (ask Trujillo how that works ). Obviously these guys (coal and nuclear) are going to argue VIGOROUSLY for their power system, and AGAINST anything which competes. They have the money to buy bright technical people, to argue their cause. The technologically-challenged ones would have no show against a barrage of forceful arguments.Another possible reason, I reckon, is politics and conmanship. For example, imagine that Bush wanted to claim that they were leading the world in gun control . Yeah, I know it's a stretch, but it's just a thought experiment. Now, say the US is the biggest manufacturer and exporter of guns. So, he marches off to the equivalent of Kyoto/Copenhagen to argue that they are a world leader in gun control. He would look like a hypocrite, right? Everyone would say he wasn't leading any damn thing at all he was actually increasing the number of guns, by being a major supplier.So, what to do? Bush could claim that the US is working on a special, safe, non-killing kind of gun for the future. And back it up with an impressive pile of money MUCH less than they would make from selling the guns, of course but nonetheless a suitably impressive pile, and a new research institution to match. Then Bush could do a Madoff or FirePower style of confidence trick, where you get people to imagine that such a possibility (special, safe, non-killing guns) exists, and get them to buy into it heavily. Having invested, they are then psychologically hooked into his fantasy. Would people fall for it? Did they fall for Madoff's Ponzi scheme and FirePower's bull story about engine pills? Sheesh How does this relate to Rudd? Well, he wants to get global recognition for being a leader in climate change. Australia is THE biggest user of coal-fired power, and THE biggest exporter of coal. Oh, bugger. Now starts the conmanship How long does he think he can get away with it, before he gets found out? How long did Madoff think he could get away with pulling the wool over people's eyes? As long as Rudd and the coal companies all sing from the same songsheet, and as long as they can get others to buy in, thus psychologically committing We could hope that Rudd is only technologically-challenged, but I do strongly speculate he may be playing the conman also.